IAWA is run 100% by passionate and dedicated volunteers.

Founder and Executive Director

Meisha Robinson is a marketing, strategy, and business development professional.  She has managed multi-million dollar brands for Campbell Soup Company and Reckitt Benckiser.   Committed to service, Meisha also served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa and in South Africa as a Marketing Manager for Special Olympics South Africa.  She received a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Curriculum Development

Nicholas Kurian is the owner of Kurian Consulting.  As a consultant, Nick has developed multiple professional development programs for public schools and educational materials and curriculums that have been implemented into college and high school classrooms.  Prior to consulting, Nick was a World History Teacher and a College Counselor at the Bronx Aerospace Academy High School.  He also served as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa.  Nick received a Masters of Arts in Economics from Columbia University Teachers College and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wesleyan University. 

Tyrice McCoy is a dedicated and socially conscious individual, couple, and family therapist. She works with her clients to generate abundance in their lives, and renewal in their minds. As a private practitioner, group facilitator, and presenter, Ms. McCoy systemically works to empower clients in the many stages of life.  Ms. McCoy received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Rosemont College and her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University.

Connie Grier is a passionate educational leader possessing a strong commitment to social justice and mentoring.  She is the founder of the Respect Alliance a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the achievement gap, by building respectful collaborations between the home, school and community partners.  She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Administrative Leadership for Teaching and Learning at Walden University.  She has a Masters in Educational Administration from Arcadia University and Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education/Social Studies from Temple University.

Impact Assessment

Rashid Njai has a PhD in public health from the University of Michigan, which brought him to Atlanta to work as an Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  His work broadly focuses on the distribution of mental/physical health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities as well as other vulnerable populations, as they relate to the factors that impact where people live, work and play. As a public health first responder he hopes to continue rapid and effective response to emerging public health needs with the ultimate goal of becoming a source of proactive scholar activism around the intersection of ethnicity, culture, social class and health.  

Yisrael Welcher has conducted impact assessments of economic development, community outreach and orphaned and vulnerable children programs within the United States and Kenya. Prior to this, Yisrael spent nearly a decade at the Songs of Love Foundation, where he developed sustainable business models within a non-profit framework, facilitating a five hundred percent increase in service provision. He earned a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Domestic and International Community Development from George Washington University and a Bachelors of Arts from New York University.

Enkeledja Shtjefni is an Albanian Language and Culture Instructor at the Foreign Service Institute, at the State Department.  Prior to that she worked for Peace Corps Albania as the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. She received a Masters of Art in European Studies and a Bachelors of Art in English translation and Interpretation and from the University of Tirana, Albania. 

Marketing and Communications

Mi’Lisa Patton is navigating the world of communications and aspires to open her own firm. Mi’Lisa recently worked at Kivvit Public Affairs as a communications associate. She is passionate about empowering women and girls around the world. She has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of America, Girl Scouts of America and the Upward Bound Program and founded the Emerging Young Leaders program at a local elementary school in Savannah, Georgia.  She received her Master’s in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University and her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Savannah State University.


Melissa Taylor is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and works as a Financial Consultant. Her passion for nutrition and thirst for knowledge led her to the Nutrition field. She is a certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant.  Melissa received a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Bowie State University.

Teisha A. Robertson attended the University of Maryland for undergraduate and graduate school, where she ultimately earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.  She later went on to join the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), where she is a Pharmacy Officer serving her community at large.  

Programme Implementation (Youth Facilitators)

Kgosi Rapoo attended TheThe High School.  While at TheThe, Kgosi participated in Special Olympics Get Into It youth club, The Personal Consciousness Leadership programme, debate, and played basketball.  After high school he participated in 13th year.  He studied Accounting at Wits University and desires to return so he can become an Accountant. Kgosi is currently a Jr. NBA Basketball Coach.  He also desires to start poetry and book reading clubs to give youth a platform to voice and share their opinions.

Pauline Rankele attended Charora High School.  She assisted Special Olympics Get Into It youth club as a facilitator and helped launched IAWA at Charora.  Pauline is currently a Receptionist at the Intercare Head Office. 

Tshepang Motsepe attended TheThe High School.  While at TheThe, Tshepang participated in Special Olympics Get Into It youth club, The Personal Consciousness Leadership programme, debate, and played basketball.  He aspires to be an electrical engineer and is currently studying at the RBI School of Engineering.

Kefilwe Mafafu attended Charora High School.  She is currently a Bafokeng Youth Implementer at Charora High School.  Kefilwe aspires to become a Marketing Manager or Director because she loves to come up with ideas, slogans, logos, etc.

Lerato Matshitse attended Charora High School.  She is currently a Bafokeng Youth Implementer at Charora High School.  She wants to study psychology and become a child psychologist.  In her spare time, she loves to write short stories and is currently authoring a biography.

Mpho Molote attended Charora High School.  While at Charora, she participated in Special Olympics Get Into It youth club.  Mpho is currently studying at UNISA to become an advocate.  Mpho loves writing and performing poetry.  With funding support from Nedbank, Mpho started a soccer club in her village to assist unemployed youth out of school and educate them about HIV/AIDS.